Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Shooting Under Par

Rachel Ginsberg

Thirty years ago, Zohar Sharon was a top Mossad operative who lost his sight on a secret mission. Today, he’s the world’s best blind golfer, defending a string of world championships, even though he’d never even been on a golf course before. Yet, his trophy-lined living room is more than just a showcase for the number-one man on the green. It’s become a place for nurturing the growth of Torah in an apathetic, secular community.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The clipped, tense silence on the course is broken by the crack of Zohar Sharon’s five-iron as the golf ball flies into the distance. Sharon can’t see it, but he can tell by the whack and the air current that it was a good shot, just inches away from the 130-meter flag he was targeting on the practice green.

“Totally straight,” he says, flashing the huge smile that rarely leaves his face. “A peles [level].”

Sharon, a former IDF officer and Mossad and Shin Bet operative who lost his sight 30 years ago in a field mission, is the world’s best blind golfer, defending a string of world championships since 2000, when he entered his first professional tournament.

But the story of Zohar Sharon, 57, is more than the sum total of the dozens of trophies that line his living room in Moshav Aviel, near Hadera. It is the story of a military hero’s rise and fall – and rise again, with a spirit revealed through deep faith, hard work, intense concentration and an internal overhaul.

Since 2003, when he won the World Invitational blind golf tournament in Scotland, he’s taken international championships in Australia, the US, Canada, and England. This summer, he returned as a world champ in the British Open’s World Blind Golf Championships at Whittlebury Park. Before that, he made headlines with a statistically improbably hole-in-one on his home turf, the Caeserea Golf Club, where he practices 10 hours a day except Shabbos.

“I thought I’d overshot it. Then, when Shimshon, my caddy, started screaming and jumping up and down, I thought he’d been bitten by a snake.” 

 

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
Top-Down Theory
Shoshana Friedman Our true currency, the accomplishments we value most
Strive for What Binds Us
Yonoson Rosenblum The chareidi community represents something of an oasis
Embracing Victimhood
Eytan Kobre Combating the allure of victimhood
The Kids Are Going to Camp, the Parents Are Going Broke
Miriam Klein Adelman Mindy has to feel good; it doesn’t matter that I feel ba...
Work/Life Solutions with Carlos Wigle
Moe Mernick “Rejection is Hashem’s protection” 
How to Create a Simple 900-Page Novel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman All of us can reset the titles of our own lives
Stand There or Do Something
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP It’s called collaborative care, and it works miracles
I'm Here — Are You Ready?
Riki Goldstein Upbeat and catchy, but still makes listeners think
Back in Time
Riki Goldstein "I wish I could recapture that excitement"
Mixed Messages
Riki Goldstein The unsung craftsmen who give albums their special touch
Go in Peace
Faigy Peritzman Inner peace makes us vessels for blessing
All Work and No Play
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A life only about doing your duties loses all its color
Dying to Believe
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Emunah peshutah is the force behind Jewish continuity